Tuesday, February 28, 2006 VOLUME 23, NUMBER 11

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FACULTY/STAFF NEWS

Thomas Hedin, professor of art history, Department of Art and Design, was appointed as a fellow in the Garden and Landscape Studies program of Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University. The program runs from September 2006 to January 2007.

Karen Heikel, director, Continuing Education Student Support Services, Evening Classes, and Summer Term, was elected President-Elect of the North American Associate of Summer Sessions (NAASS). NAASS is an association of deans and directors of college and University summer programs located throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Mary Keenan, director of new student programs and advisement, College of Liberal Arts, presented at the twenty-fifth annual Conference on the First-Year Experience held in Atlanta, Georgia in February. Keenan’s presentation was titled “Learning Communities: A ‘Required Opportunity’ for Undecided Students.” CLA’s highly successful freshman Learning Community Program was recognized as an outstanding institutional initiative at the national conference.

Eun-Kyung Suh, assistant professor, Department of Art and Design, produced screens and set design for Lost and Found special guest artist Francine Conley’s One Woman Show, in the Play Ground, Duluth. Lost and Found presents a lively montage of eleven male and female characters, caught in flight or in search of a way home in today’s fragmented world and will be performed on March 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m.

NRRI NEWS

Chris Burdett gave a talk on “Canada Lynx in Minnesota” in February during the lunchtime seminar program at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities College of Veterinary Medicine.

SUBHASH BASAK NEWS
Subhash Basak was invited to chair a session at “Conferentia Chemometrica 2005” in Hajdúszoboszló, Hungary, last August. He also delivered an invited lecture entitled “Predicting bioactivity and toxicity of chemicals from computational chemistry and mathematical proteomics.”

Basak chaired a session on Mathematical Chemistry and QSAR at the International Conference of Computational Methods in Sciences and Engineering 2005” in Korinthos, Greece, last October. He gave the following two invited lectures at the conference: “Use of proteomics-based biodescriptors versus chemodescriptors in predicting halocarbon toxicity: An integrated approach” and “A comparative study of arbitrary versus tailored molecular similarity metrics in property/toxicity/bioactivity prediction” authored by Basak, Brian D. Gute and Douglas M. Hawkins (School of Statistics, UM-Twin Cities).

Basak was invited to become co-chair of a QSAR and Predictive Molecular Modeling session at the Computational Methods in Toxicology and Pharmacology conference held in Shanghai, October 29 - November 1, 2005. Basak gave an invited lecture at the conference on “The role of chemodescriptors and biodescriptors in predicting bioactivity and toxicity” authored by Gute and Basak. Hawkins also presented a collaborative research paper “Property specific tailoring of molecular similarity metrics” authored by himself, Gute, and Basak.

Basak organized an international conference on Drug Discovery Based on Darjeeling Area Biodiversity, held last November. Basak gave a lecture on the use of modern drug discovery methods in combination with biodiversity of Darjeeling plants in the discovery of pharmaceuticals and cosmeceuticals. Natarajan Ramanathan gave a talk on “Biodiversity of Western Ghats” at the conference.

Basak organized a mini-symposium at a conference on Current Advances in QSAR Studies in Kolkata, India, held last November. Basak presented”QSAR Modeling: Descriptor thinning and cross validation” with Ramanathan and “Advancing frontiers of mathematical chemistry.”

Basak gave an invited lecture on “The utility of mathematical descriptors in the prediction of property, biochemical activity and toxicity of chemicals” at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India, last November. Basak also discussed joint toxicoproteomics research with collaborators at the University of Calcutta and anti-tuberculosis drug design with collaborators at the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata.

Basak gave an invited presentation entitled “Theoretical Descriptor-based QSARs in predicting skin penetration of chemicals,” authored jointly by Basak, Jim Riviere (North Carolina State University, Raleigh), Ronald Baynes (North Carolina State University, Raleigh), and Gute at the AFOSR JP-8 Jet Fuel Toxicology Meeting, University of Arizona, Tucson, November 30- December 2, 2005.

Basak, Ramanathan, Hawkins, and Jessica Kraker (UM-Twin Cities) traveled to Beltsville to give presentations about the mosquito repellent QSAR project, last December.

Basak traveled to Charleston, SC, to discuss computational approaches to cancer research and toxicology with colleagues at the Medical University of South Carolina, in January. Basak and Gute visited North Carolina State University, Raleigh, to participate in the Jet Fuel Meeting “Integrating models on lung disposition and toxicokinetics of jet fuels organized at the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department of NCSU. Basak gave a presentation on “Clustering and QSAR of JP8 fuel chemicals.” Basak and Gute continued their trip to Amherst, MA, to discuss collaborative research and proposal development on “Hormesis and anti-cancer drug design” with colleagues at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Basak wrote an invited article “My tortuous journey from biochemistry to mathematical chemistry” for the proceedings of the 50th anniversary symposium of the Department of Biochemistry Department, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India.

Ramanathan, Basak, Alexandru Balaban (Texas A and M University at Galveston, TX), Jerome A. Klun and Walter F. Schmidt (both of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD), published a paper entitled “Chirality index, molecular overlay and biological activity of diastereomeric mosquito repellents” in the international journal Pesticide Management Science vol. 61, pp. 1193-1201 (2005).

Milan Randic (a consultant to the Air Force grant funded to NRRI) and Basak published a paper on “Similarity of proteome maps” in the international journal Medicinal Chemistry Research vol. 13, pp. 800-811 (2004).
Basak, Ramanathan, Denise Mills, Douglas Hawkins and Jessica Kraker (both from the School of Statistics, University of Minnesota, TC campus) published a paper entitled “Quantitative structure-activity relationship modeling of insect juvenile hormone activity of 2,4-dienoates using computed molecular descriptor” in the international journal SAR and QSAR in Environmental Research; Vol. 16, 581-606 (2005).

Gute presented a paper, authored jointly by Basak and Gute, entitled “Use of proteomics-based mathematical biodescriptors in characterizing chemical toxicity” at the 2005 Scientific Conference on Chemical and Biological Defense Research in Baltimore, MD, last November. Also at the conference, Gute discussed joint toxicoproteomics research with collaborators from Vital Probes, Inc., a company focused on developing technology for the detection of and defense against biological agents and infectious diseases.

Basak was the guest editor of the special issue of the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling (JCIM) which published papers presented at the Fourth Indo-U.S. Workshop on Mathematical Chemistry with applications to drug design, risk assessment of chemicals, cheminformatics, bioinformatics, computational biology and toxicology.  The workshop was held January 2005 in Pune, India.

The following articles were published by Basak in the special Indo-US issue of JCIM vol. 46 (2006): an editorial covering the advancing frontier of Mathematical Chemistry and its applications to Chemo-Bioinformatics with Dilip K. Sinha, chairperson (India) of the Indo-US Workshop Series on Mathematical Chemistry on p.1; a paper entitled “Combining Chemodescriptors and Biodescriptors in Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship Modeling” with Hawkins, Kraker, Kevin Geiss (Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH), and Frank Witzmann (Indiana University Purdue University of Indiana, Indianapolis) on pp. 9-16; the paper “Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship Modeling of Juvenile Hormone Mimetic Compounds for Culex Pipiens Larvae with a Discussion of Descriptor Thinning Methods” with Ramanathan, Mills, Hawkins, and Kraker on pp. 65-77; the paper a paper entitled “Dependence of a characterization of proteomics maps on the number of protein spots considered” with Randic, Witzmann, and Varsha Kodali (graduate student) published on pp. 116-122; and the paper “Proteomics Maps: Toxicity relationship of halocarbons studied Similarity Index and Genetic Algorithm” with Marjan Vracko (National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenia), Subhash Basak, Geiss, and Witzmann from pp. 130-136.

MINNESOTA SEA GRANT NEWS

Cindy Hagley, water quality educator, presented “Lake and Stream Water Quality: What is the ‘Why’ Behind the Rules?” to Carlton County commissioners and planning office staff last January in Carlton.

Hagley also gave the presentation “Why are there Shoreland Regulations?” at two shoreland workshops held during January and February in Virginia and Carlton.

Douglas Jensen, aquatic invasive species program coordinator, gave a presentation “Habitattitude: A National Education Campaign to Prevent the Release of Aquarium Fish and Plants” at the Fifth Annual Invasion Biology Research Consortium Retreat, Tamarack Nature Center, during February in White Bear Lake.

Barbara Liukkonen, water resources education coordinator, and Eleanor Burkett with the University of Minnesota Extension Service, gave the poster presentation “Preventing the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species from Water Gardening” at the USDA-CREES National Water Quality Conference during February in San Antonio, TX.

Jesse Schomberg, coastal communities extension educator, gave the presentation “Lake Superior’s Wild Wetlands: Unheralded Protectors of an Ecosystem” for the Great Lakes Aquarium’s Voices of the Lake speaker series during February.


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